Monday, March 30, 2015

Nuby Sea Scooper Review

I am so excited to begin a new journey as product reviewer for Nuby!  I first starting using Nuby when my son (Pickle) was born 4 years ago and have continued to use with Little Dear who just turned 1. I've loved all the products, so it was a no brainer to say YES to Nuby when approached to review their products.  I'm also really excited to bring a personal side to my blog with my own children as the models and real life product testers!

Without further first review!

We tested out the Sea Scooper Bath Toy Scooper.  We used it in the tub.  We put our head in it. We threw it across the tub. And as it's purpose, we scooped up toys with it.  Then it got hot outside.  We put it in the pool!

It was quite fun with the Little Dear (1 yr old). A fun game to teach little ones is how to PUT TOYS IN.  We all know they can take/dump toys out, so naturally we should teach them to put them back in. :)

The top of the Sea Scooper has a handle that is easy enough for Little Dear to hold and pick up.  Pickle (4 yr old) loved making the whale "eat" the toys.

The Sea Scooper comes with a snazzy clip that adheres to the shower wall and then allows you to attach the whale with toys inside to dry completely (and out of the way) until next time.

You can purchase the Nuby Sea Scooper Bath Toy Scooper at these retailers:

{Note: I am not affiliated with any of the above stores.  I do not receive compensation from them if you decide to buy through their site.}

Oh, and guess what else....

To find out about more Nuby products hop on any of their social media platforms
Facebook \\ Twitter \\ Instagram \\ Pinterest 

Disclosure: I received this product for a review, but all opinions are my own.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

DIY Recycled Wind Car

I love showing the children in my school how to use trash as materials to build, create or craft.  I've been saving all these baby food pouch lids knowing I'd come up with something (or find someone else who had) to use them with.  I found this cute little car idea and knew what we had to do!

I also wanted to have the kids help me come up with a way to get this car rolling.  We tried a few different ways to get the wheels to turn.  It was such a great STEM project.  I then brought out some flat cardboard...and then bingo!  I remembered my love of coffee sleeves...VOILA! 

Materials Needed:

Start off by pinching the coffee sleeves so it makes a shape like this:

Next poke your pipe cleaner through the bottom of the sleeve.

Poke the pipe cleaner through the sides of the plastic bag, to make a sail.  It helps to bend the tops over to make it stay tight.  Make sense?

Your smoothie straw should fit snug inside each pouch cap.  Some of ours didn't fit quite right, so we had to use some force. :)

Looking at it from this angle it kind of reminds me of the Flintstones car!  

The kids had such a great time blowing their wind cars.  We had a great discussion on how to create wind, too.  At home my son was able to put his outside on a windy day and it zoomed down the driveway!  Such fun!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Recycled Cardboard Tube Train

Choo!  Choo!  All Aboard!

A few years ago we made an egg carton train.  It got quite a bit of re-pins and likes on Pinterest.  (blush)  I decided to amp it up a bit.  Plus, the health department doesn't allow us to use egg cartons anymore. :(  While looking for a new idea I was inspired by this cute train.  Now cardboard tubes I can use! I also searched my supplies for smokestacks and wheels.  Our result....

Cut rectangles out of the top of the tube and paint!  Add your additional pieces with hot glue for optimized stability. 

Can you believe I had film canisters!?!  Thanks T4T!   

Caps, Caps, Caps for days!  I am always looking for something to do with these, as I have a sweet grandma that collects these for our school.  She has given me about 3 bags a year for the last 6 years. You can imagine my collection.

All Aboard!  Perfect little ride for some animals.  

Monday, March 9, 2015

Get Brainy Kit: Polar Box Review

Have you heard of the Get Brainy Kit box?  It's a Montessori themed kit mailed directly to your home.  I was able to get a box and play around with it for awhile and write a review.  Now, first and for most.  I NEVER write reviews on things that I will not use or stand behind.  Secondly, research. Take a look around the Get Brainy Kit website.  You'll see why I chose to do a review on this gem of a company.  Third, I am excited to do this with my son and not have to share it with an entire class.. hee hee.  :)
When I received my first Get Brainy Kit I was shocked at all the materials they gave you!  So many possibilities.  Being a seasoned teacher I could immediately see all the activities I could do with my son.  Even my 1 year old daughter could get some use out of some of the materials.  The best comes with 7 lesson plans!  Within each lesson plan there are numerous activities that you can choose from.
Without further is a SMALL snippet of what we did just on the first day!

This is a photo of what came in my box.  A ton of materials smashed into this photo. A beautiful book, laminated cards, laminated Venn diagram, wooden Montessori puzzle, Instant Snow (!!), small arctic animals, puzzle, stickers w/background, glue stick for an art project and of course, the detailed bound lesson plans.

I rolled out a make shift Montessori Mat and set out our arctic pals. I asked him questions about what he saw, where he thought the animals lived, etc.  After about 5 minutes of exploring he started sorting the animals.  This led to us getting our snow out!

We both LOVED this activity.  I then asked him similar questions again.  He pointed out to me there was no water for his whale, so we came up with a solution.  (I read further into the lesson plans where it suggested getting a bowl to represent the ocean.)  Smart kid!  We will revisit this activity several times this week to keep the conversation going.

These beautiful laminated cards have so many possibilities.  The quality is top-notch!

My son called this his map.  Which led to us talking about where the animals live and play.  There were even enough stickers left over for him to put in his "sticker collection box". :)

So, yes this review is highly recommended.  If you like to have materials sent to you, have detailed (VERY detailed) lesson plans ready for you and give your child a well thought out, fun, educational experience this is right up your alley!

For more information on the Get Brainy Box go to their website!

Happy Playing!

DIY Table Easel

Do you ever look at cardboard with wonder and thoughts of possibilities?  I laugh at my husband because he knows better than to put something in the trash/recycle bin before asking me if I could use if for something.  He's so sweet. :)

I received 3 amazingly long and sturdy pieces of cardboard.  Each had 3 specific folds.  Hmm....I started immediately configuring different ways to do something cool.

And then, EUREKA!  I had a stellar idea.  I waited to write this post to make sure these would stand the test of time (re:preschoolers using them for months).

So here we have it folks...DIY Table Easels.

After I folded them in thirds, I went back and hot-glued the areas that overlapped.  I then added a piece of strong tape to the top and hot-glued clothespins to act as the paper holder.

Side view to show you how to fold the cardboard.  You want to make sure there are two straight sides and then one angled.

In action!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Lorax Sensory Bin

There are so many things you can love about Dr. Seuss.  Too many for me to put into one post, so today I'll give you just one. The Lorax. What an amazing story he was telling through this cute little creature. 
I decided to make a sensory bin out of this lovely story.  Green rice grass, pipe cleaner Truffula trees, Styrofoam marshmallows, cuddly bears and of course, the protector of the trees, the Lorax!

I was inspired by these cuties to help come up with my characters.  I found fun striped pipe cleaners and colorful pompoms to make the trees.  I used blocks of plastic foam to stick the trees in.  And, of course, the bears need those marshmallows! 

How I made these cuties:
First I painted the champagne corks the respected colors of the characters. This took a few coats.  After all was dried, I painted on the eyes and used a sharpie for the nose and mouth.  I used felt and yarn to add the additional details.  Easy, right?  

I've got some other champagne cork characters coming soon....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Puzzle Reindeer Ornaments

I've seen these all over Pinterest, but I'm going to share mine anyways!  They are just so darn cute and easy.  You most likely have all the pieces needed at home already.  You can use them as a sweet gift tag, name tags at the dinner table, gifts to grandparents or make all 8 of Santa's reindeer for a cute display!

Materials needed:
Puzzle pieces (any size will work, as long as you use the same for each reindeer)
Eyes (googly eyes, buttons, what ever you have on hand)
Jingle bell (or a pom pom will work for the nose as well)
Ribbon for hanging
Brown paint (acrylic works best)
Hot glue/elmers glue/tacky glue

Give thought to the shape of your puzzle pieces.  Play around with the way you want her to look. After you've figured it out, glue it together.  After it has dried, paint and add embellishments!